Jessie Magdaleno revamps team in bid for title shot


Everything appears to be in place for Las Vegan Jessie Magdaleno to make a serious run at a world title fight in the next two years.

The 22-year-old unbeaten super bantamweight has been in California working with trainer Joel Diaz since last summer. On Wednesday, Frank Espinoza became his manager of record, replacing Pat and Dawn Barry, who had been with Magdaleno since his amateur days. Top Rank promotes Magdaleno, who is 17-0 with 13 knockouts.

“It wasn’t working out with the Barrys,” Magdaleno said, “and they knew I wanted to leave them and go with Frank. But everything is settled, and we’re moving forward.”

Espinoza also manages Jessie Magdaleno’s older brother Diego, who fought for the WBO super featherweight title in April in Macau, losing a split decision to Rocky Martinez.

The Magdalenos are living and training in California, and both are expected to fight on Top Rank’s Feb. 15 card in Hawaiian Gardens, Calif. Jessie Magdaleno originally was going to fight Feb. 1 in Laredo, Texas, but was pulled off the card and will face Roberto Castaneda in an eight-round bout Feb. 15.

Jessie Magdaleno said working with Diaz has brought an element of surprise and excitement to his training regimen.

“Joel kicks my butt every day,” he said. “He puts me through so many different workouts. I never know what to expect when I come to the gym, but that’s what makes it fun. Joel has a plan for everything, and I trust him completely.”

Espinoza said Jessie Magdaleno is on schedule to get a title shot in 2015.

“I think he’s still a year or so away,” Espinoza aid. “He’s just 22. He’s still getting that experience. When it’s time, he’ll get his chance to fight for a title, and I have no doubt he will win the belt.

“Right now, the plan is to keep Jessie busy and keep him growing as a fighter. Jessie has a solid team now. And when the team works, the dream works.”

Jessie Magdaleno said he will let Espinoza and Top Rank decide when he’s ready for a title fight.

“I would love to see it this year,” he said. “But if it doesn’t happen, as long as I’m staying busy and winning, I’ll be patient.”

■ CANELO-ANGULO TICKETS — Tickets are on sale for the Golden Boy Promotions boxing card March 8 at the MGM Grand Garden, which will feature former world junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez against Alfredo Angulo. Prices range from $25 to $600.

The undercard includes WBC super bantamweight champion Leo Santa Cruz facing former champion Cristian Mijares; WBC interim lightweight champion Omar Figueroa against Alvarez’s brother Ricardo; and IBF junior middleweight champ Carlos Molina defending his title against Jermall Charlo.

Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster locations and ticketmaster.com or mgmgrand.com.

■ USA BOXING NATIONALS — Two Las Vegas fighters are participating in USA Boxing’s National Championships this week at Spokane, Wash. Timothy Lee will fight at 152 pounds, and Marcelus Williams is entered at super heavyweight (201+).

Contact reporter Steve Carp at 702-387-2913 or scarp@reviewjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.

 

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